FOR the second week in a row, the Oberon faithful saw a resurgent Tigers fall short of running down their opponents in the dying minutes of the game. Orange CYMS managed to desperately hang on and take away a 26-22 victory. It was a quality game from both teams with the first 20 minutes of the match producing mistake-free football from both sides. CYMS were taking full advantage of a stiff breeze at their back to kick astutely and keep the Tigers at bay.
It took the Tigers' new hooker from the Wellington Cowboys, Richie Peckham, to break the deadlock with a typical dart from close range to post a try next to the posts and give Farren Lamb an easy conversion. It was the start that Oberon were looking for after last week's match against Mudgee when they went to the sheds 24-0 down.
But CYMS, being a powerhouse club, came back strongly. Representative winger Travis Adelerhof was sent flying down the sideline in open space only for the Tigers half, Matt Ranse, to come from the clouds and cut him down in an incredible show of speed and determination.
By now the massive CYMS pack were rolling forward and ex-NRL star, Chris Grevsmuhl, was able to burrow over to level the scoreline after a Ben McAlpine conversion. From that point, CYMS had their tails up and posted another try before halftime to take a 12-6 lead going into the sheds.
With Josh Starling taking a short rest after taking on the CYMS behemoths for most of the first half, it was Oberon's other big man, Tye Simmons, who electrified the crowd with a rhino-like run to open the second half stanza with a four-pointer under the posts. Lamb converted to lock the scores up 12-all.
Ranse and Simmons were now making inroads and were well-supported by the likes of Blake Fitzpatrick, Andy Adams and Abel Lefaoseu. However, CYMS rode out the onslaught with scrambling defence and worked back upfield to send their monstrous battering ram Ethan Berreyne crashing over to retake the lead at 16-12. CYMS were playing with confidence and after a slick passing movement, Adelerhof went over out wide to extend their lead to 20-12. Shortly after, Adelerhof crossed again for his double to make the comeback road for the Tigers even steeper, trailing 24-12.
Perhaps in years gone by that would have spelled the end but these Tigers are ferocious and, with Starling leading the way, they began the long haul back. After Starling himself was held up over the line and denied a try, it took the brilliance of Farren Lamb to take control of the game and orchestrate two quick tries in the last eight minutes to Jayden Fagg and Elias Dukes with precision passing.
At 26-22 and chasing, the Tigers once again had the big crowd urging them on. With less than 30 seconds remaining on the clock, Ranse took off like a hare on a 50-metre run towards the tryline, only to be cut down as the siren sounded to deny Oberon a last gasp victory.
The Tigers have some great new young talent and none more than winger Tye Siakisoni and centre Elias Dukes, who had massive games. Throw in the guile and toughness of Richie Peckham, Starling and co and it won't be long before a win is notched up.
The league tag girls once again turned up in numbers with infectious enthusiasm, but couldn't secure a victory over the strong CYMS outfit. Simone Sargent was players' player and was well-supported by Kyra Humphries and Stephanie Fisher.
Under 18s went down 38-14, but anyone at the game would tell you that the scoreline flattered the visitors. Ray Sargent, Cazian Griffiths and Riley Walsh had big games.
First division continue to impress, running out big winners 46-12. Coach Joey Inzatari must be thinking he has a definite premiership threat under his stewardship. Once again, front-rowers Liam Walsh and Daniel Rodgers were destructive, with halfback Joey Coughlan calling the shots.
The Tigers will travel to Lithgow this Sunday looking for their first win.
Tradition says that it won't be easy, so we are looking for a big crowd to cheer the teams on. League tag will start at 10.30am.